Students read the names of the El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, victims followed by moments of silence. Activists chanted “Enough is enough! Not one more” and held homemade signs. One read, “If only thoughts and prayers were bulletproof.” Another read, “NRA, take their tax exempt away.”
They also decried inaction on Capitol Hill, where the Republican-controlled Senate has declined to consider legislation passed by the majority-Democratic House that would strengthen background checks for gun purchases.
“Is it political to say I’m tired of coming to this building and the only thing that has changed is the body count?” Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) asked the crowd. “No!” they responded. Cars driving by honked support, and activists responded with raised fists and the peace sign.
The protest included people who go to the site on the 14th of each month in remembrance of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary on Dec. 14, 2012.
That includes retirees John Sterling, 64, and Michelle Crouch, 57, who go on mornings, hoping NRA employees inside the building will hear them.
“We’re adding to the number of people standing here,” Sterling said. “Instead of declining over time, it’s growing.”
The NRA on Sunday tweeted a statement of sympathy for the families and victims of the shootings and appreciation for first responders.
“The NRA is committed to the safe and lawful use of firearms by those exercising their Second Amendment freedoms,” it said. “We will not participate in the politicizing of the these tragedies, but, as always, we will work in good faith to pursue real solutions that protect us all from people who commit these horrific acts.”